How to Succeed With An Employee Ownership Culture
Originally published: 30/07/2018 12:21
Publication number: ELQ-70438-1
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How to Succeed With An Employee Ownership Culture

7 Keys To Success With An Employee Ownership Culture

Introduction

One of the lessons I have learned over the years as a business executive, and now as a mentor to entrepreneurs, is that if you really want employees who enthusiastically take ownership of their work, you have to start treating them like owners, not renters. Owners feel they have skin in the game, and benefit from improved effort and results, rather than just getting blamed for problems.
Unfortunately, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, only about one-third of employees feel like owners. Another 50 percent are “job renters,” bringing only their hands, but not their hearts to work. They show up every day, keep a low profile, and collect a paycheck. The remainder are actively disengaged, and passively block or actively sabotage forward progress.
It’s a growing challenge, since we now have four generations of workers together – Matures, Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials (Gen Y), all with different ideas of how an owner should act. I was impressed to see some real guidance on this subject in a new book, “Counter Mentor Leadership”, by Kelly and Robby Riggs, a father-son coaching team that spans the age spectrum.
These authors helped me validate my own recommendations on how business leaders and entrepreneurs can incent their own team members and employees to move a bit closer to the owner mentality. These include the following:

  • Step n°1 |

    Clearly communicate the big picture, and current reality

    Be accessible, talk often to the team about the business, and be specific in communicating a vision and goals. Don’t hide the current reality of challenges and shortfalls. Employees can’t be owners if they don’t understand the business targets and realities. They will revert to renters, at best.

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  • Step n°2 |

    Give every employee the necessary degrees of freedom

    Remember, one of the key drivers of ownership is a sense of autonomy. By definition, the freedom box is different for every owner. Some are super-capable and deserve a lot of decision making flexibility, while others are new or less experienced, so their box must be a bit smaller.

    How to Succeed With An Employee Ownership Culture image
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